DailyPost 1969

The dilution of everything into opinion is the sharp descent of this country into what can be termed as Opinionated India. This is a state, where there are no realities, no black or white, it has become a land of grey, and even the exact shade and texture of grey is also decided by the person, community, organization, party et al. The data driven world and evidence-based model of modern human existence seems to have gone up in flames. It is a place where a person can have more than opinions on the same topic in different contexts, depending on what suits him the best on that day and he is not ashamed about it. When there are no fixed reference points of human existence, how can we elevate it anyway?  This is the vortex we are in and going by the present mood and mindset, it seems to be a long-lasting state.

Wiping out the reference points etched in stone has been the biggest achievement of an Opinionated India. This gives you a free license to declare anything as a fact and stick to it. Or you can discard any well established fact at your whims and fancies. You are basically carrying a goal post with you, place it anywhere and fire a goal and declare yourself victorious. See the electioneering all across the country, the shades of opinion range from a govt which has delivered fully to one which has not delivered at all. When there are fixed parameters of growth and data based human indices which can be drilled down to the individual, opinions still stick thick and fast. Might be we have lost the democratic culture of a healthy debate and for sure that every debate should be primarily based on non-debatable facts and figures.

When progress / growth / development becomes an opinion, over a period of time, it can also become a matter of faith. Might be we are already there. There is no democratic debate in any political party. What is declared by the party has to be taken as a matter of faith. If big political parties cannot have differences based on facts, where is the country headed to? If democratic parties are devoid of data and figures and any independent narrative based on it, will the culture not rub on the governments and if they become opinionated, what is the fate of the country? An opinionated country can only traverse a limited distance, it cannot run a long race, statesmanship, vision and its tangible achievement, would not come anywhere near to that nation.

A country so obsessed with marks could lose the sense of evaluating things factually is a travesty of the human thinking process. An objective middle class, educated, talented and performance driven coming to this mindset or even appreciating this mindset, is what our country can ill afford. At this juncture the country needs exactly the opposite mindset. The challenge with an opinionated individual, community and an organization is that they believe only their opinion to be correct, all others being different shades of falsehood. This creates rifts, hidden ones, of a type unimaginable, coming out in the open at a  late stage, when damage becomes too huge to either handle or digest. We have already travelled a bit too far, in this direction, is there any going back possible?


Sanjay Sahay

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